On Authorship

Both Barthes and Foucault contend that the author is not the be all and end all of the text per se.

Barthes raises the issue of the Writerly text versus the Readerly text, where he differentiates between the text that is built/written by the reader (and as such become a co-author) and one that is only to be read passively and digested wholesale. In identifying such a method, he asserts that the classical conception of the readerly text is perhaps invalid. Instead, Barthes seeks to "make the reader no longer (merely) a consumer, but a producer of the text". Barthes then attempts to teach us a method of reading texts whereby a series of narrative codes is introduced and identified as perhaps the most effective way to read a text.

In S/Z, Barthes chooses the text Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac in the hope of illustrating to us the difference between the writerly text and the readerly text. However, perhaps Barthes conception is more clearly illustrated when you position the classical text (print) with that of hypertext. Immediately, we are able to see distinctly what Barthes had conceived as hypermedia brings along an altogether new dimension into the concept of texts.